bulbs from Costco

DaveKarn@aol.com DaveKarn@aol.com
Mon, 30 Aug 2004 07:45:36 PDT
In a message dated 8/30/04 5:37:43 AM Pacific Daylight Time, jglatt@ptd.net 

> My question - all these discount places, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc - seem 
> able to have spring flowering, fall planted bulbs available for sale way 
> earlier than mail order vendors can ship. How come?

Judy ~

They're the 900# gorillas . . .

When the PO calls for 10 tons of "King Alfred" (or whatever), the smart 
business caters to their biggest customers and fills their order first.  What I 
don't understand is how the bulb farmer at the bottom of the pyramid can make a 
profit when the price to the ultimate consumer (and through a wholesaler 
middleman, yet, and transported a long, long way from the source) is 100 bulbs for 
$15 (prepackaged!).  I can't help but think this is a loss-leader type of thing 
for COSTCO, although their prices on many things (foodstuffs, in particular) 
are unbelieveable (1/4 to 1/3 of supermarket prices).  Obviously, economies of 
scale, I guess, and acres and acres of KA handled largely by machine.  
Interestingly, land prices in Holland are at least what they are for decent farmland 
here on the West Coast so no one here is getting rich peddling bulbs!

As a "mail order vendor," I could certainly ship to customers by mid-August.  
I think, tho, there is a mind set here that says Spring-flowering bulbs 
should be delivered in the Fall and, indeed, for some parts of the country, e.g., 
the SE USA and California, these bulbs can't be planted until November when the 
soil is cool enough.  On the other hand, customers in the northern tier of 
the Midwest want their bulbs before the Labor Day weekend.  On the whole, 
however, customers really aren't ready to think of Fall things in the "dog days" of 
August!  For most, Fall really does begin after the last big weekend and the 
kids are in school.  Only then, it seems, does one have time to think of Fall 

Dave Karnstedt
CAscade Daffodils
Silverton, OR  97381-0237
email:  davekarn@aol.com

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